Shanghai 24/7 launches tomorrow

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headerlogo.pngMaybe you've heard of this, maybe you haven't, but Shanghai's getting a new music-dedicated website called Shanghai 24/7 and it launches tomorrow at midnight. As in midnight Monday, morning Tuesday. Is that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow? Anyway, I e-mailed co-founder Tom Hughes some questions a few days ago to find out what it was all about and here's the responses courtesy of CTRL+C and CTRL+V. Badaboom:

1) Can you start by introducing yourself/the Shanghai 24/7 crew? Who you are, where you're from, how long you've been in Shanghai, that kind of thing - the sort of questions expats always ask other expats in Shanghai.
Shanghai 24/7 is a rapidly expanding group of like-minded friends and collaborators with a shared love of all things creative and original. Grieg and Jon are in charge of web design and development (a massive job!); Doug, Dave and Andy are our main people out and about conducting interviews etc.; Gaby and Nesil write excellent, succinct exhibition previews that make sense of the spiel; our newest recruits, Dyanne Pete and Phillip will be writing gig reviews, blogging - generally trying to get under the skin of the city. I'm Tom, and I write bits and pieces, have the odd idea here and there. We're on the look out for more contributors - get in touch!

We are all from the UK, except Pete and Phillip who are from the US. Andy and Jon have been in China the longest, having both previously lived in Beijing. The rest of us have been here for two or three years for the most part. 

2) So what's Shanghai 24/7 about? Where did the idea come from?
Well it's developed quite a bit since we first came up with the idea! Greig and I were talking about how there is so much going on in this city, how lucky we are to be here, yet that it can all seem kind of disparate at times. Countless times when I've spoken to people about gigs, events I've been to, music I'm listening to, they say the same things - 'I'd really like to do things like that/find out more etc., but I always miss them or don't have enough information to decide whether it's my kind of thing'. Initially, this was what we wanted to be able to provide - a place where you can find more in-depth information, enabling people to make more of an informed choice about what they see and do, and by the same token, creating more exposure for musicians and visual artists in Shanghai. 
Creative people share a common trait, whether they are into one particular genre of music or another, style of art, aspect of design - whatever. Shanghai 24/7 will provide a space where all these people can share/pursue their particular passions and get to know more about somebody else's. This line of thinking lead us to come up with more ideas for the site. We've kept it simple, with all of our content in three sections - music/art/opinion. We hope the opinions will come from our members - you can create your own profile, comment on posts, add your own media, connect with people - make yourself heard! 

3) How do you expect people to use the site - is it for fans, bands or both?
We hope people will come to the site for one reason and stay for another. We'll have info about events that allows people to decide if it's for them - music to sample, images, video and previews. We'll have full-length features on musicians/artists etc. that are informative, and also just a really good read. We'll be posting-up and reviewing new music from the local scene and around the world. Musicians and artists will be able to create their own profile page, connect with their followers, spread the word about what they're up to. We hope that both Chinese and expats will use the site and share their opinions in both Chinese and English - we will have a lot of content in dual-language and this will continue to develop.

4) What kind of content can people expect when they log on?
We've been busy and we've got lot's planned! By working closely with key musicians/producers/DJs, artists/gallerists/organisations, we have managed to line-up some great features and interviews. For example, this week we've got a big feature on Pete Rock to preview his show at The Shelter and our first weekly podcast to accompany it; we've got the guys from VOID talking about their favourite Trax Records releases; we've spoken with Idle Beats about their fascinating screen-printing project; and of course we'll be looking forward to all the other events coming-up, including a free show at Live Bar with Boys Climbing Ropes, Rainbow Danger Club, X is Y and Pairs. 

5) You've got a launch party coming up in March. Do you want to give that a plug?
We'll be taking the night off on Friday 25th March for the our launch party @YYT - Shanghai 24/7 presents... 什么情况!with four of our favourites: Boys Climbing Ropes, Duck Fight Goose, X is Y and Ho-Tom the conqueror + Audio Fidelity DJs What a line-up!

am444.jpg6) Who are your favourite bands/musicians/DJs in Shanghai and why?
There are so many talented people in this city, so much going on! The Shelter and YYT are very special places. Subculture/Uprooted Sunshine have been bringing it for years now - you can see innovative electronic music down there three or four times a week sometimes! VOID have done great things bringing some of the legends from Detroit out to Shanghai, like DJ Bone and Rob Hood, and they really know their stuff themselves. The way that Subculture and The Antidote are helping to develop Asian talent and creating an independent local scene is really cool. I'm really excited by Cha Cha and Jay Soul's collaboration, AM444 [pictured left] - judging by the sampler their new EP is going to be amazing. All the guys we have on at our launch party have put out some fantastic music recently - we're so pleased they all said yes! BCR have got a sound that is so evocative of the city for me it's untrue. Rainbow Danger Club do a great job of making experimental rock that makes you want to listen to it again and again. X is Y are great, really raw. Man, there are so many - DFG and Tom, don't wanna leave you guys out! I could go on and on...

7) What's the best gig/nightlife event you've been to here and why?
Again, so many! DJ Bone was my first time at The Shelter and man, he ripped it up. Dam Funk a couple of months later - I'd missed him in Manchester as I'd decided to move out here early (I almost put it off for a few weeks). The way he interacted with the crowd, singing along with the records he was playing - records you knew you'd never of heard if you'd have missed it! There's only Moody Man who can put on a show in a similar way, and with him you don't mind that he doesn't bother with mixing, but Dam Funk did it all so well and so effortlessly. BCR on any number of occasions, they always rock. The time they opened for Handsome Furs I was with a friend from back home who vowed to spread the word about them - we tried to get him a CD but they were all out! More recently, the last gig at Mao's Red Town premises was an amazing night. The place was packed out and the atmosphere was perhaps the most electric that I've experienced in China. Chaos Mind and Sonnet stood out for me and the crowd went wild for them, but all the bands put on a really good show - Top Floor Circus are consummate showmen!

8) What are your goals for the site?
We really want to complement the other fantastic sources of information there are out there, such as your good self! We hope that through collaborating with people who might often have very diverse tastes and interests we can offer something new for everybody to enjoy. We can't stress enough how important it's gonna be for us that people want to get involved, comment, debate, tell us what they think. 

9) Anything else you'd like to add?
Check us out from midnight on Tuesday 22nd February. Sign-up and comment, download the podcast, sample some new music - get involved! - music art opinion - 喊出你的声音吧!

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